Physical disabilities and sensory impairments

Creating an inclusive learning environment where pupils grow and develop is at the heart of everything we do at Portobello High School. For our pupils with physical disabilities, as well our deaf pupils and those with visual impairments, we work alongside families, pupils, the Additional Support for Learning Service and NHS colleagues to remove any barriers to learning and ensure that all our learners can fully access the curriculum to achieve their full potential.

What does support for pupils with physical disabilities and sensory impairments at Portobello High School look like?

Pathway 1:

All teachers have an understanding of physical disabilities and sensory impairments. Teachers are provided with information on each pupil and support strategies are shared and updated regularly. Support provided can include making good use of technology, including communication devices such as a Rojerpen or Braillenote. Adaptions are also made to printed materials, such as font and text size. Some pupils will also benefit from the use of adapted equipment to ensure equal access to all areas of the curriculum.

Pathway 2:

In addition to the support of their classroom teachers, some pupils will also benefit from time spent in Support for Learning. A small number of pupils benefit from a Pupil Support Assistant in their lessons.

Alternative awards

From S3 onwards, some pupils benefit from the opportunity to study for alternative qualifications through The Prince’s Trust. These classes take place in Support for Learning and benefit pupils who need higher levels of support and enjoy a smaller group setting or find a busy classroom environment or relationships with others challenging.

Assessment arrangements

Some pupils benefit from additional assessment arrangements for their tests and assessments, and we try to ensure that this support is in place from S1 onwards. In S4-6 pupils may be entitled to additional assessment arrangements for SQA exams and Support for Learning collates requests from teachers.  More information about assessment arrangements can be found here: Assessment arrangements guide for learners

Pathway 3:

A small number of pupils benefit from Pathway 3 support. If Support for Learning (in conjunction with classroom teachers, parents and carers, the wider integrated support team and the young person themselves) believe that support beyond Pathways 1 and 2 are required, referrals can be made for help from partner agencies to supplement or enhance a pupil’s timetable.

The Additional Support for Learning service’s teachers of the Deaf and Visually impaired meet with pupils on a regular basis, with some pupils receiving weekly 1:1 support. Some pupils also benefit from work with NHS colleagues on physio and speech and language therapies.

Further information support and for young people and families

Support for families – The City of Edinburgh Council ASN

Physical Support Needs (

Visual Impairment – Some Ways Technology Can Help (